The pronunciation of nasal vowels in the L2 French of Italianspeaking learners

Acquisition and explicit teaching


  • Stephan Schmid Phonetisches Laboratorium, Universität Zürich, Rämistrasse 71, CH-8006 Zürich, Svizzera
  • Kristijan Rajic Brandstrasse 21, CH-8952 Schlieren, Svizzera



nasal vowels, French as second language, pronounciation teaching


In this contribution we investigate the acquisition of French nasal vowels by Italian-speaking learners on the one hand and the impact of explicit pronunciation training on the other hand. In a classroom experiment, 10 students received detailed instructions about French nasal vowels and were recorded twice in a reading task (before and after the pronunciation lesson). A control group of 10 students without explicit phonetic training was recorded twice as well. The inspection of a few less than 1680 tokens revealed seven different solutions to cope with the remarkable difficulty of French nasal vowels for Italophone learners. However, the group who had received explicit pronunciation training performed much better in the second recording, whereas the control group did not improve substantially (also showing greater interindividual variability).